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Summaries of HIV/AIDS Projects in Africa
Working with LWR Partners

NigerHIV/STD Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center

Partners: LWR and Mieus Vivre Avec Le Sida (MVS, Living Better with AIDS)

Niger has an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 1.4 percent in a total population of 10.4 million people. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are frequently diagnosed at health care facilities. Behavior change communication and awareness raising activities are two of the earliest AIDS prevention strategies used in Niger, which have noted success in changing attitudes, beliefs and practices. Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for HIV/AIDS and STDs (in confidentially) has also proved cost-effective in providing critical information, changing behavior, curbing the spread of the disease, and ensuring early care and psycho-social support. The social stigma associated with HIV infection, however, has been a major barrier to expanding such services including the lack of resources.

GOAL: Mieux Vivre Avec le Sida, MVS, (Living Better with AIDS) was established in 1994. MVS has greatly contributed to the national fight against HIV/AIDS through its multifaceted approach that includes awareness-raising activities, voluntary testing for HIV/STD serological status, and care and support to people living with AIDS.

This project will enable MVS to establish the first-ever Voluntary Counseling and Testing center in Niamey, the capital of Niger. MVS will adopt a sustainable management system for this VCT center and conduct awareness-raising and behavior change communication through major media outlets like public and private radio and television. LWRs accompaniment strategy will include addressing some of the initial capacity gaps identified, including proposal writing, budgeting and program management.

OBJECTIVES: LWRs partner, CEB will:

" Set up a first-ever voluntary counseling and testing centering providing confidential services to the urban population.

" Change HIV/STD risk behavior by influencing knowledge, attitudes, perceptions of risk, and safer sex skills among 10 percent of the urban population (an estimated 62,000 people).

" Seventy-five percent of those who have negative HIV/STD serological status will adopt responsible behavior (abstinence and faithfulness to partner).

" An increase in the use of contraceptives such as condoms is anticipated.

" Provide early and better care and psychological support to people with positive HIV serological status through a referral program.

Approved Project Support: $97,735 through 2003.

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